Monday, August 05, 2013

A Contest for our Readership!

No news yet on the PET scan.  The procedure itself went smoothly and, as far as I was concerned, the waiting area was great.  Lydia viewed some fish in a tank and was amused by a random pinwheel in a potted plant.  She also took a nap.  I got to treat myself to an iced mint mojito coffee at the nearby Philz.

While we are waiting for the results, I thought I'd introduce the very first For God and For Cheese Sweepstakes!!!  I don't know what the prize will be, but there will be, at the very least, some recognition on the blog for the winner.

Here's the deal.  Given Jeff's latest bout with mouth soreness and inflammation due to the chemo cocktail, we are pretty certain he will go through the same exact thing after the upcoming rounds of R-EPOCH.  [Note:  the next round of chemo will begin this Thursday, 8/8. There may still be slots to visit him in the hospital, so check out the Lotsa site if you are interested.]  Thus far, as I've mentioned, I have cooked a few things that Jeff can tolerate when his mouth is hurting so much:  chocolate tofu pudding, black bean soup, ginger chicken jook, and even cheesy oatmeal.  I say "even" cheesy oatmeal, because I ridiculed him to no end for cooking that for himself one time in grad school only to find out now that recipes are developed for this kind of thing.  

So we are looking for recipe contributions for what I hope will turn into a more varied and tempting "Mucositis Menu." You don't have to be the next Martha, Julia Child, or Jamie Oliver to enter the contest.  Nor need you even develop your own recipes:  the submissions can merely be suggestions from other cooks. Keep the following points in mind:
  • The texture of the dishes should be essentially pureed and very easy to swallow.  
  • Acidic and spicy foods can inflame existing inflammation, so foods that are delectable, yet on the somewhat bland side of the taste spectrum would be preferable.  
  • We are not trying to lose weight here.  No need to submit anything low in fat, caloric and rich is a-ok .
  • Jeff's immune system is likely to be low at the same time his mouth is hurting, so recipes should call for cooked produce, not raw vegetables or fruit.  Note: it is not necessary to include vegetables or fruit in the dishes you submit, but if you do, they should be cooked.
Generally, think of things that would potentially appeal to this nugget when she moves on to dine on things other than rice cereal.

I will cook the recipes that appeal to Jeff and announce a winner at some unspecified time in the future.  [Erika - I will note your submission of what looks like a very tasty asparagus soup as the first entry.  Thanks!!]




Scot said...

Have you ever cooked any recipes from the Smitten Kitchen blog? Yum, and the blog is so fun to read. I searched for "pureed" and came across this:

Looks pretty delish!

helen seestadt said...

Here is my submission...

I love this soup. Much opportunity to puree more or less depending on the diner...
I think the soup could stand alone without the cherries, if they are too chewy. Or perhaps they could be pureed with coconut milk/oil to accomplish the desired flavor profile? :)

sharon said...

How about some real Palestinian style hummous - it is usually eaten warm from a bowl with a fork, and and maybe with a hard-boiled egg in it. We just made some last night. We use
the recipe from the Jerusalem cookbook, which I just found online here:

jamie crook said...

i have two submissions! the first is an easy soup you can eat hot or cold. saute a leek (white parts) in plenty of good quality olive oil, adding some pepper flakes if you like. once the leek is browned, add 10 oz frozen peas, 10 oz frozen spinach, stir to mix in the leek, then add water until the water is 1-1.5 inches higher than the veggies. simmer for 10-ish minutes. turn off the heat and add an entire bunch of fresh organic mint leaves (removed from the stalks). if you have a choice of types of mint, try choosing something other than spearmint, but it will work in a pinch. fresh basil can be substituted if no mint is to be found. let the pot sit for 10-ish minutes again (no heat), and then puree with an immersion blender or regular blender. add salt and black or white pepper to taste. you can serve it hot or cold, with a splash of sour creme or plain yogurt and a fresh mint leaf or two.

betainverse said...

I wonder if something like this would be good for Jeff:

I've made something like this using onions instead of shallots, and I'm pretty sure I didn't bother with pepper, yogurt, or lemon juice. I can imagine that leaving out the lemon juice, walnuts, and pepper might be best in your situation. I would think about adding some cheese.

jamie crook said...

and recipe #2: for 2 servings of smoothie, puree one banana, 2 cups frozen peaches, as much pure pomegranate juice as needed to blend to smoothie consistency, and a small handful of fresh mint leaves. that's all.

Mrs Snoopy JD said...

I'm praying for good news and loving the pictures of Lydia and the Chairman. Allez cuisine!

Andrew Penner said...

There are many variations of this, but basically coconut milk + cocoa powder + agave (or sugar) = delicious ice cream that I would eat for dinner. I don't think that you can really go wrong if you want to just season to taste, but for a sense of proportions, see, e.g., It wouldn't need to be frozen either (our ice cream maker keeps things pretty soft, but I would happily drink it before freezing)....

JamieLW said...

My first suggestion is mashed cauliflower. It's simple, fast, and pretty tasty if your tastes lean that way. Here is the recipe I have made:

My second is a more labor intensive dish, but may add more variety for the whole fam: Beer Braised Irish Stew and Colcannon. The colcannon would be easy to eat, the gravy from the stew would add rich flavor, and the beef can be enjoyed by others. One suggestion is food processing the cabbage so there are no large pieces in the colcannon.

My friend is "Industrious Justice" and I often return to her blog for recipes (and enjoy dinner at her place as often as possible.) You may find other suggestions or fun things for post-mouth-soreness Jeff-man.

JamieLW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flo said...

Not too complex, but when my father in law was going through chemo we made scrambled eggs with cream cheese (which tastes decadent and is still soft)
best to you all.

Unknown said...

Cream of artichoke soup. This article was printed in Saveur, and the recipe is inspired by our local Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, which is famous for this dish.

This recipe is based on a comforting dish served at Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero, California. 2 lbs. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped 4 tbsp. unsalted butter 2 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste 1⁄3 cup cornstarch 1 cup heavy cream 1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges Sourdough bread, for serving 1. Working in batches, purée 2 cups artichoke hearts with 2 cups water in a blender. Transfer puréed artichokes to a 6-qt. pot with the butter, chicken broth, garlic, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. (Stir soup occasionally so the soup at the bottom of the pot doesn't scorch.) 2. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch with 1⁄2 cup cold water. Vigorously whisk cornstarch mixture and heavy cream into soup. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, whisking frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Strain soup through a mesh strainer into a clean pot over low heat; discard solids. Ladle soup into 6 bowls, garnish with parsley, and squeeze a lemon wedge over each. Serve with warm sourdough bread.

Unknown said...

Oh that last comment on cream of artichoke soup is from Emily Shen

YDubL said...

Hi, KBM! What this situation calls for is...congee (aka jook, zhou)! Ultimate Asian comfort food and pretty easy with a slow cooker. I kinda make this up, and there are plenty of recipes online (Google "congee" or "jook" recipes...anything can be converted to slow cooking.

•1 cup white rice, washed
•8 cups liquid (I recommend 4 cups water & 4 cups low sodium chicken broth)
•1 thick bone-in pork chop OR a few bone-in spare ribs OR 1-2 bone-in chicken thighs/legs
•1 inch nubbin of fresh peeled ginger
•A few diced shiitake mushrooms
•Soy sauce or fish sauce (recommended) to taste
•White pepper (optional)
•Fresh julienned ginger (optional)
•Finely chopped scallion (optional)

Place washed rice, water/broth, bone-in meat, mushrooms and ginger nubbin into slow cooker and cook on low until rice breaks down and is creamy (about 8 hours, but there's literally no such thing as overcooking - feel free to add more hot water/broth if the consistency is too thick for your taste). Take out meat and ginger nub. Discard ginger and shred meat into small pieces - place meat back into pot and mix.

Flavor pot with fish sauce (really it's better!) or soy sauce and white pepper (if you have it) to taste. Top with some scallion or ginger if desired.

You can customize by the bowl in a lot of different ways - top with crispy shallots/onions (the same French's onions in green bean casserole!), crumbled bacon, a soft cooked egg, crushed peanuts, cooked veggies, etc.

Makes 6-7 cups, lasts quite a while in the fridge and withstands reheating very well!

YDubL said... have jook in your repertoire already! I'll keep looking for alterna-jooks! :)

Unknown said...

I'm a little late to the sweepstakes, but this risotto is pretty easy, very tasty, and kid-friendly too! Sometimes I also add peas and mushrooms.

(Apologies if this shows up multiples times ... I'm having commenting trouble.)